Ongoing heartburn is a symptom of many conditions, including esophagitis, which is inflammation of the esophagus. A number of conditions can cause esophagitis, some less serious than others. The highly skilled physicians at Long Island Gastroenterology Specialists offer advanced diagnostic testing to find the cause of your esophagitis so you get the right treatment. Call the office in North Wantagh, or South Wantagh, New York, or book an appointment online today.
Esophagitis is inflammation of the esophagus. Your esophagus is the tube that connects your mouth to your stomach.
After you chew and swallow food, the muscles in the esophagus push it toward the stomach. Once at the stomach, the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) opens, allowing the food to pass into the stomach, and the LES quickly closes.
When you have esophagitis, you may feel pain when you swallow, making it hard to eat. It may also feel like you have constant heartburn.
You can develop esophagitis from any number of causes. The most common include:
GERD is the most common cause of esophagitis. With GERD, the LES fails to fully close, allowing the acidic contents of the stomach to regurgitate up into the esophagus.
Over time, the acidity damages the delicate esophageal tissue, causing inflammation and pain.
EoE is an allergic reaction caused by food or an environmental allergen that affects the esophagus. When someone with EoE comes in contact with their allergen, their immune system reacts by increasing white blood cell production in the esophagus.
Over time, the abundance of white blood cells causes inflammation and pain in the esophagus.
EoE is rare, but it’s a newly recognized condition. If your heartburn doesn’t respond to antacid medication, then you might have EoE.
Long Island Gastroenterology Specialists takes a team approach to care. The providers work together to make sure you get the best possible outcomes when you come in with concerns about heartburn or difficulty swallowing.
During your esophagitis evaluation, they review your symptoms and medical history and perform a physical. They also run diagnostic tests, such as an upper endoscopy, which is a procedure that allows them to closely examine your esophagus and look for signs of disease.
Your provider takes samples of tissue from your esophagus during the upper endoscopy for analysis. This helps confirm your diagnosis and rule out other conditions related to esophagitis, such as Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer.
Treatment for your esophagitis depends on the cause. Your plan may include:
The experts at Long Island Gastroenterology Specialists work closely with you, designing a plan that heals the inflammation, eases your symptoms, and lowers your risk of more serious complications.
To find out more about esophagitis, call Long Island Gastroenterology Specialists or schedule an appointment online today.